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The U.S. defeat in Afghanistan is worse than the Soviet failure...how has this happened?

Beast

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The US lost in Vietnam because the US military was shackled by restrictions imposed by politicians in Washington and idiotic Washington notions such as graduated escalation

One outcome of the graduated escalation doctrine was that US fighters were not permitted hot pursuit of North Vietnamese fighters fleeing into neighboring Cambodia or China.
Also, Vietnam ports, bridges and links to Cambodia and China were off limits to the US air strikes until very late in the war. North Vietnam was able to bring in much needed supplies and replace equipment lost in battle through unrestricted land and sea routes which were off limits to US forces.

There is an interesting story of a two USAF pilots under Lt. Gen. William W. Momyer defying orders and attacking a Soviet ship in frustration killing Soviet Navy sailors. At the time of the attack the ship was offloading war supplies in Haiphong Harbor in what was later described as the Turkestan incident. The CO Jacksel Markham "Jack" Broughton and his pilots were court-martialed for their troubles.

The story is not very different in Afghanistan and the 2011 Salala attack was the expression of the same frustration as the Vietnamese Turkestan incident in which many Pakistani soldiers were killed by USAF. In my mind the Salala incident = Turkestan incident.

You can call it hubris or ignorance or apathy but the people that call the shots in Washington are often more worried about their political careers then they are about letting the military do the job it was sent to do. So now here we are, we demolished the Taliban twenty years ago, most retreated into Pakistan and were reduced to IED's or suicide attacks - when they massed and faced NATO forces they died. They waited and waited for the US to realize Kabul was never going to be able to hold Afghanistan together no matter how much money Washington threw at the problem.

The US lost in Vietnam and now we lost in Afghanistan.
Excuse, excuse, excuse. You control the whole air, claim to have the most advance weapon but you failed in a single thing.. Fail to win the heart of local. Acting like master while treating local like slave. You will never win war, US and allies come as invaders and not liberators.

 

Goritoes

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The story is not very different in Afghanistan and the 2011 Salala attack was the expression of the same frustration as the Vietnamese Turkestan incident in which many Pakistani soldiers were killed by USAF. In my mind the Salala incident = Turkestan incident.
I have to disagree, Salala incident was actually the opposite of what you describe, it was NATO was trying to get rid of Pakistani Army posts to give TTP a safe passage, 2 Posts were guarding its countries borders and if there was any incursion from Pakistan's side NATO can just bomb the fighters who are crossing and not the posts, Plus PA officers were constantly trying to communicate with the attacking forces and their command to let them know that its PA posts and not Taliban or insurgents, but America was frustrated as they were since the realization of their mistake in getting into Afghanistan, Yes you can say that Salala was the last nail in the coffin where ISI went in full on with Taliban support against the Americans, but that is still have to be proven, whatever the result the incident of Salala and drama of OBL raid is what shows that America has far greater evil plans for Pakistan than many in PA thought.

I am glad that Americans are leaving the Afghanistan, as a victor or defeated humiliated I will let the history record it however it wants it to.
 

Dungeness

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Chris Hedges is always pronouncing the death of US empire. Fact is it has only expanded.

The failure? There isn't one.

US bought into a fable: War on Terrorism which was War on Islam & Muslims

That fable is not important any longer because there is a new fable: War on China
Right to the point.

The US, or the West per se, can afford the humiliating defeat in Afghanistan, but can't afford even a slightest sign of losing in their War on China.
 

dbc

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Excuse, excuse, excuse. You control the whole air, claim to have the most advance weapon but you failed in a single thing.. Fail to win the heart of local. Acting like master while treating local like slave. You will never win war, US and allies come as invaders and not liberators.

ok if you say so .. :enjoy:
 

maverick1977

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I have to disagree, Salala incident was actually the opposite of what you describe, it was NATO was trying to get rid of Pakistani Army posts to give TTP a safe passage, 2 Posts were guarding its countries borders and if there was any incursion from Pakistan's side NATO can just bomb the fighters who are crossing and not the posts, Plus PA officers were constantly trying to communicate with the attacking forces and their command to let them know that its PA posts and not Taliban or insurgents, but America was frustrated as they were since the realization of their mistake in getting into Afghanistan, Yes you can say that Salala was the last nail in the coffin where ISI went in full on with Taliban support against the Americans, but that is still have to be proven, whatever the result the incident of Salala and drama of OBL raid is what shows that America has far greater evil plans for Pakistan than many in PA thought.

I am glad that Americans are leaving the Afghanistan, as a victor or defeated humiliated I will let the history record it however it wants it to.

Why didnt Pakistan retaliate with its Airforce ? To my understanding Salala attack on PA by NATO continued for 4 hours ?
 

Goritoes

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Why didnt Pakistan retaliate with its Airforce ? To my understanding Salala attack on PA by NATO continued for 4 hours ?
Attacking via Air force or Army means war with America and NATO, and no country on earth right now can take on that combined force except Russia cause Russia will make sure that everyone dies in the end, but Pakistan can hurt America in Afghanistan via Taliban which a lot think they did.
 

maverick1977

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Attacking via Air force or Army means war with America and NATO, and no country on earth right now can take on that combined force except Russia cause Russia will make sure that everyone dies in the end, but Pakistan can hurt America in Afghanistan via Taliban which a lot think they did.

Makes sense, with that logic, Trillion dollar lost is a shrewd way to take revenge for its losses
 

Indos

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The US lost in Vietnam because the US military was shackled by restrictions imposed by politicians in Washington and idiotic Washington notions such as graduated escalation

One outcome of the graduated escalation doctrine was that US fighters were not permitted hot pursuit of North Vietnamese fighters fleeing into neighboring Cambodia or China.
Also, Vietnam ports, bridges and links to Cambodia and China were off limits to the US air strikes until very late in the war. North Vietnam was able to bring in much needed supplies and replace equipment lost in battle through unrestricted land and sea routes which were off limits to US forces.

There is an interesting story of a two USAF pilots under Lt. Gen. William W. Momyer defying orders and attacking a Soviet ship in frustration killing Soviet Navy sailors. At the time of the attack the ship was offloading war supplies in Haiphong Harbor in what was later described as the Turkestan incident. The CO Jacksel Markham "Jack" Broughton and his pilots were court-martialed for their troubles.

The story is not very different in Afghanistan and the 2011 Salala attack was the expression of the same frustration as the Vietnamese Turkestan incident in which many Pakistani soldiers were killed by USAF. In my mind the Salala incident = Turkestan incident.

You can call it hubris or ignorance or apathy but the people that call the shots in Washington are often more worried about their political careers then they are about letting the military do the job it was sent to do. So now here we are, we demolished the Taliban twenty years ago, most retreated into Pakistan and were reduced to IED's or suicide attacks - when they massed and faced NATO forces they died. They waited and waited for the US to realize Kabul was never going to be able to hold Afghanistan together no matter how much money Washington threw at the problem.

The US lost in Vietnam and now we lost in Afghanistan.
Yup, I know about the loss in Vietnam is because of changing politics in US domestic politics, nothing to do with military aspect. It is actually widely known, this is why I dont talk about the reason of the lost in my previous comment since I believe we all know about it.

Any way North Vietnam resilence in the war also make it happen, they keep fighting despite the casualties are huge, this kind of resistence will likely make any country that try to keep invading Vietnam think many times to continue the occupation, and the history has shown that finally US domestic politics determined to pull out from that country, since long war is very expensive, not only in economic cost, but also human and political cost ( domestic politics in a democratic state ).

The one that I tried to highlight in my previous comment is that for Afghan invasion, US is successful to achieve the target (crushing AQ, killing OBL, and give punishment to Taliban). While in Vietnam war the target cannot be achieved (Making Vietnam become Non Communist country).
 
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Clutch

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Weapon seizures ‘massive boon’ for Taliban as cities fall

AFPPublished August 15, 2021 - Updated about 4 hours ago
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A Taliban fighter looks on as he stands at the city of Ghazni, Afghanistan on Saturday. — Reuters

A Taliban fighter looks on as he stands at the city of Ghazni, Afghanistan on Saturday. — Reuters

KABUL: The United States spent billions supplying the Afghan military with the tools to defeat the Taliban, but the rapid capitulation of the armed forces means that weaponry is now fuelling the insurgents’ astonishing battlefield successes.

“We provided our Afghan partners with all the tools — let me emphasise: all the tools,” US President Joe Biden said when defending his decision to withdraw American forces and leave the fight to the locals.

But Afghan defence forces have shown little appetite for that fight and, in their tens of thousands, have been laying down their arms — only for the Taliban to immediately pick them up.

The Taliban’s social media is awash with videos of Taliban fighters seizing weapons caches — the majority supplied by Western powers.

Footage of Afghan soldiers surrendering in the northern city of Kunduz shows army vehicles loaded with heavy weapons and mounted with artillery guns safely in the hands of the insurgent rank and file.
In the western city of Farah, fighters patrolled in a car marked with an eagle swooping on a snake — the official insignia of the country’s intelligence service.

While US forces took the “sophisticated” equipment with them when they withdrew, the Taliban blitz has handed the group “vehicles, humvees, small arms and light weapons, as well as ammunition”, Justine Fleischner of weapons-tracking group Conflict Armament Research, said.

‘Massive boon’
Experts say such hauls — on top of unacknowledged support from regional allies — has given the Taliban a massive boost.

The weapons will not only help the Taliban’s march on Kabul but “strengthen its authority” in the cities it has captured, said Raffaello Pantucci, senior fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

With US troops all but gone, the Taliban now find themselves flush with American-supplied tools, without having to raise a single penny.

“It is incredibly serious. It is clearly going to be a massive boon to them,” he said. Some of that weaponry is now being brazenly paraded ahead of the US troops’ 9/11 withdrawal deadline by insurgents who have maintained ties with Al Qaeda, the group behind the 2001 terror attacks.
Washington had prepared for the Taliban to claim its weapons, but the rapid fall of cities was its most dire scenario, Jason Amerine, who led US special forces in overthrowing the Taliban in 2001, said.


“The US equipped the ANA with the assumption that weapons and materiel might fall into Taliban hands,” he said, referring to the Afghan National Army.
“The current crisis was a worst-case scenario considered when making procurement decisions.”

Propaganda
At Kunduz airport, a Taliban fighter on a red motorbike, head-to-toe in insurgent dress, was filmed staring at a military helicopter sitting on the tarmac.
It is a picture of jubilation mirrored across insurgent-held territory.
While the group will continue to show off these big prizes, the aircraft at least will have no impact on the battlefield without pilots.

“They will be for propaganda purposes only,” former CIA counter-terrorism analyst Aki Peritz said.

More useful will be the light arms and vehicles used to navigate the country’s rugged terrain. Coupled with the army’s dwindling morale, they will boost the threat the Taliban pose to the Western-backed government.

As the crisis unfolds, Biden’s administration says it will still equip an Afghan military that appears on the verge of collapse.
:suicide2: :omghaha: [what army is Sleepy Joe going to arm now ... It's gone dumb arse Yankee...]

Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2021


......
 
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Dalit

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Fact of the matter is the ANA soldiers joined the army for employment and not to fight.
Now they are deserting without putting up a fight. It tells us that US/NATO were kidding themselves that Afghans side with them.

The US lost in Vietnam because the US military was shackled by restrictions imposed by politicians in Washington and idiotic Washington notions such as graduated escalation

One outcome of the graduated escalation doctrine was that US fighters were not permitted hot pursuit of North Vietnamese fighters fleeing into neighboring Cambodia or China.
Also, Vietnam ports, bridges and links to Cambodia and China were off limits to the US air strikes until very late in the war. North Vietnam was able to bring in much needed supplies and replace equipment lost in battle through unrestricted land and sea routes which were off limits to US forces.

There is an interesting story of a two USAF pilots under Lt. Gen. William W. Momyer defying orders and attacking a Soviet ship in frustration killing Soviet Navy sailors. At the time of the attack the ship was offloading war supplies in Haiphong Harbor in what was later described as the Turkestan incident. The CO Jacksel Markham "Jack" Broughton and his pilots were court-martialed for their troubles.

The story is not very different in Afghanistan and the 2011 Salala attack was the expression of the same frustration as the Vietnamese Turkestan incident in which many Pakistani soldiers were killed by USAF. In my mind the Salala incident = Turkestan incident.

You can call it hubris or ignorance or apathy but the people that call the shots in Washington are often more worried about their political careers then they are about letting the military do the job it was sent to do. So now here we are, we demolished the Taliban twenty years ago, most retreated into Pakistan and were reduced to IED's or suicide attacks - when they massed and faced NATO forces they died. They waited and waited for the US to realize Kabul was never going to be able to hold Afghanistan together no matter how much money Washington threw at the problem.

The US lost in Vietnam and now we lost in Afghanistan.
:azn: Excuses buddy. What a nightmare you must be going through right now. All your plans to dominate the region gone to waste. What an epic humiliation.

More nightmare is to follow. Pakistan, Iran, Russia and China are ready to step in and never let you in this region again. Never.
 

ziaulislam

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The U.S. defeat in Afghanistan is worse than the Soviet failure...how has this happened?
By Paul Robinson


August 13, 2021- As the last men of the dwindling American garrison in Afghanistan pack their bags, there is an echo of the Soviet Union's own withdrawal from the country, more than 30 years ago. But, in truth, Washington's defeat is far greater.

In December 1979, Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan to support the unpopular government of the ruling People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA). They soon found themselves bogged down in a bloody war against the mujahideen guerillas.

Nine years later, the Soviets decided that there had been enough bloodshed and, in May 1988, they began their exit. The final contingent of Soviet troops drove back across the bridge to the USSR in February the following year.

Twelve years later, US troops arrived to fight the Taliban. Soldiers of other NATO states then followed. Together, they stayed even longer than the Soviets, but are now on the way out. US President Joe Biden has promised that American soldiers
American soldiers will leave Afghanistan by the end of August.

As the US completes its retreat from its longest war, its enemy is on the march. In the past week, the Taliban have captured 12 of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals, including the second and third largest cities in the country, Kandahar and Herat, both of which fell on Thursday.

The pace of the Taliban advance has been remarkable. In some places, government forces simply ran away without a fight. The governor of Ghazni province was said to have surrendered his city in exchange for free passage out of the area. US-trained government troops have fled or deserted en masse and, in some cases, gone over to the Taliban. It’s fair to say that it’s been a rout, and the Americans haven’t even fully left yet. The government may be able to hold onto the country’s capital Kabul, but even that is no longer certain.

In short, the 20 years of America’s and NATO’s war in Afghanistan has ended in ignominious failure – total and absolute. So, of course, did the Soviets’ war, but not quite so abruptly.

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After the last Soviet troops crossed over the Friendship Bridge linking Afghanistan and Soviet Uzbekistan, the mujahideen launched a major offensive, confident that they would be able to defeat the government forces in short order. Their offensive collapsed completely. The Afghan army stood its ground and not a single major population center fell into the hands of their opponents. It was not until two years later, when the post-Soviet Russian government of Boris Yeltsin cut off funding to the Afghans that the PDPA regime finally fell.

The contrast with what has happened this past week could not be clearer. Even after the Soviets had left, the troops they had trained and equipped fought hard and successfully. Today, the troops that America and its allies trained and equipped at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars have scattered to the four winds with only the slightest effort at resistance.

But, to be fair, the problem lies not in army exercises or crates of machine guns. The current batch of Afghans have had plenty of both. They outnumber the Taliban and are better supplied. The problem is one of morale: simply put, not many of them are willing to die for their government.

The PDPA had a well-deserved reputation for corruption, incompetence, factional in-fighting, and dogmatic, counterproductive policies that alienated the Afghan people, such as its Marxist assaults on religion and private enterprise. Meanwhile, the PDPA’s opponents, the mujahideen, the Taliban’s precursor, enjoyed substantial support from the United States, including signing for the delivery of sophisticated Stinger missiles.

The fact that the Soviet-backed government put up a better fight than its contemporary counterpart can, therefore, only have one explanation: Afghans respect their current rulers even less than they respected the socialist PDPA. And that is really saying something.

All of which begs the questions of why America and NATO spent so long supporting the regime in Kabul, and why the latter got to be so disliked.

The answer to the first question is largely one of prestige. Having installed the current government, Western states felt that their reputation was tied to its survival and thus refused to abandon it even when it became clear that it wasn’t worth supporting.

The answer to the second question is that the awfulness of the current government owes a lot to the policies pursued by Western states.

After Najibullah was overthrown in 1992, Afghanistan suffered a vicious civil war in which drug-running warlords competed for power and inflicted all sorts of atrocities on the Afghan people. When the Taliban came along offering fierce but incorruptible justice, many Afghans breathed a sigh of relief and gave them their support.

Canadian general Rick Hiller famously said that the Taliban were “detestable murderers and scumbags.” What he failed to note was that the Taliban’s enemies were, on occasion, even worse. When America and its allies moved into Afghanistan, these enemies returned to their homes, this time with the backing of Western powers, and resumed their criminal ways. Unsurprisingly, the locals weren’t too impressed.

Beyond that, Western powers flooded the country with money. Pour cash into an impoverished country without adequate controls, and the consequence will be mass corruption. So it was in Afghanistan.

Not only did this delegitimize the government, but much of the aid flowed down into the hands of the Taliban. As John Sopko, the US official responsible for auditing American expenditures in Afghanistan, put it, “the end of the US supply chain in Afghanistan is the Taliban.” If you want to know who armed and paid for the Taliban, the answer is that America did.

The Soviets believed ideology and manpower would turn the tide of the war. The West imagined that it could win in Afghanistan by pouring in money and resources. But, as Napoleon noted, “the moral is to the physical as three to one.” Events this week in Afghanistan prove the point.

Paul Robinson, a professor at the University of Ottawa.


________________________________


US Collective Suicide

The return of the Taliban to power will be one more signpost of the end of the American empire — and nobody will be held accountable.

By Chris Hedges




August 12, 2021- "Scheerpost," -- The debacle in Afghanistan, which will unravel into chaos with lightning speed over the next few weeks and ensure the return of the Taliban to power, is one more signpost of the end of the American empire.

The two decades of combat, the one trillion dollars spent, the 100,000 troops deployed to subdue Afghanistan, the high-tech gadgets, artificial intelligence, cyberwarfare, Reaper drones armed with Hellfire missiles and GBU-30 bombs and the Global Hawk drones with high-resolution cameras, Special Operations Command composed of elite rangers, SEALs and air commandos, black sites, torture, electronic surveillance, satellites, attack aircraft, mercenary armies, infusions of millions of dollars to buy off and bribe the local elites and train an Afghan army of 350,000 that has never exhibited the will to fight, failed to defeat a guerrilla army of 60,000 that funded itself through opium production and extortion in one of the poorest countries on earth.

Like any empire in terminal decay, no one will be held accountable for the debacle or for the other debacles in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen or anywhere else. Not the generals. Not the politicians. Not the CIA and intelligence agencies. Not the diplomats. Not the obsequious courtiers in the press who serve as cheerleaders for war. Not the compliant academics and area specialists. Not the defense industry. Empires at the end are collective suicide machines.

The military becomes in late empire unmanageable, unaccountable, and endlessly self-perpetuating, no matter how many fiascos, blunders and defeats it visits upon the carcass of the nation, or how much money it plunders, impoverishing the citizenry and leaving governing institutions and the physical infrastructure decayed.

The human tragedy — at least 801,000 people have been killed by direct war violence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and Pakistan and 37 million have been displaced in and from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Libya, and Syria according to The Watson Institute at Brown University — is reduced to a neglected footnote.

‘The Enemy Within’

Nearly all the roughly 70 empires during the last 4,000 years, including the Greek, Roman, Chinese, Ottoman, Hapsburg, imperial German, imperial Japanese, British, French, Dutch, Portuguese and Soviet empires, collapsed in the same orgy of military folly. The Roman Republic, at its height, only lasted two centuries. The U.S. empire is set to disintegrate in roughly the same time. This is why, at the start of World War I in Germany, Karl Liebknecht called the German military, which imprisoned and later assassinated him, “the enemy from within.”

Mark Twain, who was a fierce opponent of the efforts to plant the seeds of empire in Cuba, the Philippines, Guam, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, wrote an imagined history of America in the 20thcentury where its “lust for conquest” had destroyed “the Great Republic…[because] trampling upon the helpless abroad had taught her, by a natural process, to endure with apathy the like at home; multitudes who had applauded the crushing of other people’s liberties, lived to suffer for their mistake.”

Twain knew that foreign occupations, designed to enrich the ruling elites, use occupied populations as laboratory rats to perfect techniques of control that soon migrate back to the homeland. It was the brutal colonial policing practices in the Philippines, which included a vast spy network along with routine beatings, torture and executions, which became the model for centralized domestic policing and intelligence gathering in the United States. Israeli’s arms, surveillance and drone industries test their products on the Palestinians.

It is one of the dark ironies that it was the American empire, led by Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, which spawned the mess in Afghanistan. Brzezinski oversaw a multibillion-dollar CIA covert operation to arm, train and equip the Taliban to fight the Soviets. This clandestine effort sidelined the secular, democratic opposition and assured the ascendancy of the Taliban in Afghanistan, along with the spread of its radical Islam into Soviet Central Asia, once Soviet forces withdrew.

The American empire would, years later, find itself desperately trying to destroy its own creation. In April 2017, in a classic example of this kind of absurd blowback, the United States dropped the “mother of all bombs” — the most powerful conventional bomb in the American arsenal — on an Islamic State cave complex in Afghanistan that the CIA had invested millions in building and fortifying.

The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, were not an existential threat to the United States. They were not politically significant. They did not disrupt the balance of global power. They were not an act of war. They were acts of nihilistic terror.

The only way to fight terrorists is to isolate them within their own societies. I was in the Middle East for The New York Times after the attacks. Most of the Muslim world was appalled and revolted at the crimes against humanity that had been carried out in the name of Islam. If the U.S. had the courage to be vulnerable, to grasp that this was an intelligence war, not a conventional war, it would be far safer and secure today. These wars in the shadows, as the Israelis illustrated when they tracked down the assassins of their athletes in the 1972 Olympic games in Munich, take months, even years of work.

Greatest US Strategic Blunder

But the attacks gave the ruling elites, lusting for control of the Middle East, especially Iraq, which had nothing to do with the attacks, the excuse to carry out the greatest strategic blunder in American history — the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.

The architects of the war, including then Sen. Joe Biden, knew little about the countries being invaded, did not grasp the limits of industrial and technocratic war or the inevitable blowback that would see the United States reviled throughout the Muslim world. They believed they could implant client regimes by force throughout the region, use the oil revenues in Iraq, since the war in Afghanistan would be over in a matter of weeks, to cover the cost of reconstruction and magically restore American global hegemony. It did the opposite.

Invading Iraq and Afghanistan, dropping iron fragmentation bombs on villages and towns, kidnapping, torturing and imprisoning tens of thousands of people, using drones to sow terror from the skies, resurrected the discredited radical jihadists and was a potent recruiting tool in the fight against U.S. and NATO forces. The U.S. was the best thing that ever happened to the Taliban and al Qaeda.

There was little objection within the power structures to these invasions. The congressional vote was 518-to-one in favor of empowering President George W. Bush to launch a war, Rep. Barbara Lee being the lone dissenter. Those of us who spoke out against the idiocy of the looming bloodlust were slandered, denied media platforms, and cast into the wilderness, where most of us remain.

Those who sold us the war kept their megaphones, a reward for their service to empire and the military-industrial complex. It did not matter how cynical or foolish they were.

Historians call the self-defeating military adventurism of late empires “micro-militarism.” During the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.) the Athenians invaded Sicily, suffering the loss of 200 ships and thousands of soldiers and triggering revolts throughout the empire. Britain attacked Egypt in 1956 in a dispute over the nationalization of the Suez Canal and was humiliated when it had to withdraw its forces, bolstering the status of Arab nationalists such as Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser.

“While rising empires are often judicious, even rational in their application of armed force for conquest and control of overseas dominions, fading empires are inclined to ill-considered displays of power, dreaming of bold military masterstrokes that would somehow recoup lost prestige and power,” the historian Alfred McCoy writes “In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power.” “Often irrational even from an imperial point of view, these micromilitary operations can yield hemorrhaging expenditures or humiliating defeats that only accelerate the process already under way.”

The death blow to the American empire will, as McCoy writes, be the loss of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. This loss will plunge the United States into a crippling, and prolonged depression. It will force a massive contraction of the global military footprint.

The ugly, squalid face of empire, with the loss of the dollar as the reserve currency, will become familiar at home. The bleak economic landscape, with its decay and hopelessness, will accelerate an array of violent and self-destructive pathologies including mass shootings, hate crimes, opioid and heroin overdoses, morbid obesity, suicides, gambling and alcoholism.

The state will increasingly dispense with the fiction of the rule of law to rely exclusively on militarized police, essentially internal armies of occupation, and the prisons and jails, which already hold 25 percent of the world’s prisoners although the United States represents less than 5 percent of global population.

Our demise will probably come more swiftly than we imagine. When revenues shrink or collapse, McCoy points out, empires become “brittle.” An economy heavily dependent on massive government subsidies to produce primarily weapons and munitions, as well as fund military adventurism, will go into a tailspin with a heavily depreciated dollar, falling to perhaps a third of its former value. Prices will dramatically rise because of the steep increase in the cost of imports. Wages in real terms will decline.

The devaluation of Treasury bonds will make paying for our massive deficits onerous, perhaps impossible. The unemployment level will climb to depression era levels. Social assistance programs, because of a contracting budget, will be sharply curtailed or eliminated. This dystopian world will fuel the rage and hyper nationalism that put Donald Trump in the White House. It will spawn an authoritarian state to keep order and, I expect, a Christianized fascism.

The tools of control on the outer reaches of empire, already part of our existence, will become ubiquitous. The wholesale surveillance, the abolition of basic civil liberties, militarized police authorized to use indiscriminate lethal force, the use of drones and satellites to keep us monitored and fearful, along with the censorship of the press and social media, familiar to Iraqis or Afghans, will define America. The U.S. is not the first empire to suffer this fate. It is a familiar ending.

Imperialism and militarism are poisons that eradicate the separation of powers, designed to prevent tyranny, and extinguish democracy. If those who orchestrated these crimes are not held accountable, and this means organizing sustained mass resistance, people will pay the price, and may pay it soon, for their hubris and greed.

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for 15 years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East bureau chief and Balkan bureau chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor and NPR. He is the host of the Emmy Award-nominated RT America show “On Contact.”
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Trango Towers

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The Russians must be over joyous. What a payback. Putin is an incredible chess player of politics. The way Putin has humiliated the US is indescribable.
Putin did Jack in Afghanistan. Infact when Pakistan blocked the supply lines Russia helped. All the kaffirs of the world were united...this victory is Muslims victory over the combined armies of the world shayateen.

Gen Gull Hameed...May Allah have mercy upon him predicted this and they all laughed at him. Gen shahib...we salute your vision
 
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Clutch

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Scoop: Biden braces for brutal loss
Axios
Jonathan Swan, Glen Johnson




Featured image

Taliban fighters stand on a vehicle in Kandahar on Friday. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration is preparing for the fall of Kabul and a retreat from any U.S. diplomatic presence in Afghanistan — a stunning reversal of expectations.
  • It's looking increasingly likely to high-ranking aides to President Biden that the U.S. will have no enduring diplomatic presence in Afghanistan beyond Aug. 31 — the date Biden has promised the full troop withdrawal will be complete.

Why it matters: It's a major reversal from even a few weeks ago.
  • The working assumption in Biden’s inner circle had been that Kabul could hold for the short term, allowing the U.S. to stay diplomatically engaged and help Afghan women secure their rights beyond the U.S. withdrawal.
  • The 3,000 Marines and soldiers going in to help with the evacuation will also be gone by Aug. 31, we're told.
Between the lines: Biden is at Camp David this weekend, not at his Delaware beach house. He can relax there, but also has full comms.
  • People can come and go without detection, and he avoids the optics of a beach vacation amid a mass evacuation.
The big picture: The U.S. embassy in Kabul wasn’t just a diplomatic building. It also was a major intelligence center with paper records and equipment there that the U.S. will remove or destroy. Protocols are in place for just such an emergency.
  • Unlike Tehran in 1979, when the Iranian fundamentalists gained access to some sensitive material, the U.S. staff still in Kabul will ensure there’s nothing to gain.
  • American diplomats at the embassy have been instructed to destroy important papers and desktop computers before they leave, according to a memo obtained by NPR.
Despite the efforts to secure intelligence and safeguard U.S. personnel and their Afghan supporters, Biden must brace for the symbolic defeat of seeing the Taliban overrun the space that housed the embassy.
  • That includes the ambassador's residence — and the landmark "Duck and Cover" bar frequented by generations of troops, diplomats and journalists.
The major moment to come: Lowering the American flag that flies over what is essentially sovereign U.S. territory.
  • That's typically done by the Marine Security Guard detachment that's always on post. It's a point of honor for the ambassador or chargé d'affaires to take custody of the flag and bring it back to State or a safe haven.
A senior State Department official told Axios: "The Embassy remains open and we plan to continue our diplomatic work in Afghanistan."
  • "The United States will continue to support consular services, including emergency services for U.S. citizens and the processing and operations of the Special Immigrant Visa program, and will continue to engage in diplomacy with the Afghan government and people."
  • "Additionally, we will continue our focus on counterterrorism. We are evaluating the security situation every day to determine how best to keep those serving at our Embassy safe. This is what we do for every diplomatic post in a challenging security environment."
How it works: The core diplomatic team left in Kabul will be small enough to be quickly evacuated.
  • "Every day counts, and they’re using the time to process SIVs [Special Immigrant Visas] for Afghans and evacuate civilian personnel," an administration official told us.
  • "Aug. 31st is a long way from now," the official added. "We’re not going to be bullied out of there."
  • The administration official said the situation on the ground is changing so rapidly that senior officials are taking it day by day. But this reflected the thinking at the top levels of the Biden administration as of Friday night.
What's next: Diplomats are making contingency plans with other countries to see if they’d be willing to take in Afghans who helped with the U.S. war effort and need to be evacuated under fear of Taliban retribution.
  • Qatar is the big one. But conversations are happening with Kuwait and other countries, which are considering housing smaller numbers of Afghans for shorter periods.
One U.S. official in touch with a former contact in Kabul asked Friday morning how the locally employed staff — the Afghans working for the United States — is faring.
  • "LES are freaking out,” the contact replied. “Everyone wants to get out of this country.”
 

LeGenD

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Aug 28, 2006
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Putting did Jack in Afghanistan. Infact when Pakistan blocked the supply lines Russia helped. All the kaffirs of the world were united...this victory is Muslims victory over the combined armies of the world shayateen.
This is true.

When Pakistan closed its route to NATO after Salala incident, Russia opened Northern route for NATO instead.

Russians played all sides in the region to their advantage as they saw fit. Few could see the obvious in fact.
 

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